In May the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) began inviting dealers across the nation to join NLBMDA as Direct Dealer members. This event had been anticipated for quite awhile and, as the chairman of NLBMDA's board of directors, I took this project on personally. I believe that in order to move the association and the industry forward, we need additional resources on the national level. Direct Dealer membership offers us that opportunity.

Joining as a Direct Dealer—which opens NLBMDA to any dealer in the country to join us directly, regardless of affiliation with other organizations—aligns you with a notable group of dealers who have stepped up to the challenge and taken their support of our industry to the next level. Their support enables NLBMDA to grow our grassroots efforts, increase our presence and voice on Capitol Hill, develop more dealer-specific programs, and inform you of industry trends and issues.

NLBMDA is offering a special designation to dealers who join directly prior to the NLBMDA/ ProSales Industry Summit at the end of September. These visionary members will receive the title of NLBMDA Direct Dealer Founding Member. I believe that those who take the first steps forward need to be acknowledged for their overwhelming support.

As a strong supporter of both my state and national organization, I can tell you that my membership to my state association and the national association complement each other: The state lumber and building material associations are responsible for your local issues, while NLBMDA focuses on issues affecting dealers on a national scale. Rest assured your interests are being fully represented.

But this strong representation needs your help and financial support. The Direct Dealer membership gives you the opportunity to show your support and get directly involved with NLBMDA at the national level.

As I enter the home stretch of my term as chairman of NLBMDA, I am proud of the growth I have seen in the past year with this organization and of the direction it is heading. I value the association and the dealers I have met and learned from over the past few years. NLBMDA has exciting plans for the future, and there is a lot of work still to be done on Capitol Hill, in safety, risk management, employee training, and informing the public about our industry. We need your support to make them happen.

I personally invite you to join NLBMDA as a Direct Dealer member. Take a moment to show your commitment to your industry and the national association that represents our interests. The benefits will last from this generation to the next.

For more information about Direct Dealer membership, call NLBMDA at 800.634.8645 or visit org. Take the first step, join me as a Direct Dealer member and help move our industry to the next level.

Sam Dunn is President of Dunn Lumber in Daytona Beach, Fla., and is chairman of NLBMDA.